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The SIOP External Relations Committee (ERC): Building Bridges to Partner Organizations

Deirdre Knapp
HumRRO
 
Steve Ashworth
Sempra Utilities
 
Zachary Horn
Aptima
 
Eden King
George Mason University
 
Debra Major
Old Dominion University
 
Fred Oswald
Rice University
 
In the last issue of TIP, we introduced the goal of our committee: to coordinate with the SIOP Executive Board and SIOP members in channeling the collective value and voice of SIOP to key policy makers on a direct and continuous basis. One of the strategies through which we are working to achieve this objective is to establish and nurture relationships with external organizations that influence policy relevant to I-O psychology, such as the American Psychological Association (APA), Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS).
 
Here we would like to highlight the partnership between SIOP and APA. Approximately 80% of SIOP professional members are also members or Fellows of APA. The collective voice of the APA can be irrefutably louder on some issues than SIOP’s voice alone as a result of the diversity of APA membership and size of its budget. The APA has over 150,000 members and a budget of over $100 million. A portion of this budget is directed squarely toward advocacy efforts on behalf of psychologists across disciplines. I-O psychologists need an active voice in APA because the decisions made at APA directly affect I-O psychologists on broad topics such as licensure, psychological testing, training, ethics, and even finer-grained topics such as acceptable citation styles in research.
 
We believe the best way to make APA’s efforts reflect the interests of I-O psychology is for SIOP members to actively engage in APA volunteer opportunities in a coordinated and constructive fashion. SIOP nominates and elects representatives for APA Council, boards, and committees such as education, public interest, and science. Our committee supports this process in several ways, including:
  • Identifying SIOP members willing to help advance the interests of I-O psychology (and the larger field of psychology) through involvement in APA
  • Providing interested SIOP members with an orientation that helps them understand how APA works
  • Tracking our success in getting SIOP members onto APA boards, committees, and task forces
  • Providing SIOP members working with APA avenues to coordinate their efforts
  • Recognizing the efforts of those SIOP members who help provide our voice within APA
If you are currently serving (or recently served) on an APA board, committee, or other role, or would be interested in doing so, the External Relations Committee would like to hear from you. Please contact Debbie Major (dmajor@odu.edu), who is taking the lead on getting us organized in this endeavor.
 
Even if you don’t want to be directly involved in APA, casting your vote in APA elections helps make your voice—and the perspective of I-O psychology more generally—heard. Together we can increase our visibility and advance the interests and contributions of I-O psychologists across science, practice, and public policy. Working with APA and other organizations with will help empower our efforts. Other partnerships and advocacy strategies will be the subject of future articles.